home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 18, 2016

Rafa Cabrera Bello

Greensboro, North Carolina

Q. Rafa, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Off to a great start, your second start here at the Wyndham Championship. Bogey-free, 7-under, 63 today, a week after finishing in the Top-5 at the Olympics.
It's been a busy but successful couple of weeks for you. Just some comments on today's round.

RAFA CABRERA BELLO: Well, I mean this week it's only started. Obviously very pleased. I mean very thankful to be here. I asked Mark (Brazil) a couple months ago for an invite and he was grateful enough to give it to me so obviously want to thank him for that and it's just -- it was a long flight from Rio to here.

Last week was big adrenaline week. It was the first time I was really playing -- not playing for myself, just playing for my country and obviously it's a huge honor but also big responsibility and I wanted to do good and I was pleased with my result.

Obviously, I would have wanted to win a medal but given how it turned out it was a very good week and coming into this week, I felt the game was good, just needed a bit of rest.

I've had a couple days rest and today was continuation of the good feelings of yesterday. Just struggled a bit off the tee in a couple holes. Missed a few drivers in a row but besides that, it's been pretty solid. Gave myself lots of chance, stay away from trouble and putting was great today. Putting was very very good.

Q. Do you have any idea what time it is or what day it is or how does that adjustment --
RAFA CABRERA BELLO: It was only long flight. Hardly any jet lag, one, two hours. For us Europeans we travel to Asia and obviously here to U.S. as well, jet lag-wise it has nothing to do with it.

It was more the fact that last week was a more tiring week than a regular week and -- but, yeah, it's Thursday and I made to it my tee time at 7 in the morning (laughter). I'm fine with schedule.

Q. Given how tired you were after last week, what led to the decision to add this event and did you talk to Sergio at all about specifically playing here?
RAFA CABRERA BELLO: I mean the decision was because I've been all year pretty much inside the Ryder Cup team, European team. So I wanted to keep fighting for it.

I mean if we got two criterias, one is the Money List and the other one is the World Ranking points list. I saw that I had -- if I made it through the Money List then I would have automatically made it through World Ranking points list.

There was a chance of me not making it through the Money List and making it through the World Ranking points lists. That's what I wanted to focus.

I'm pretty sure this week has a stronger world ranking than the one in Europe and I also felt that it was going to be easier to travel South to North than from Rio to Czech Republic, jet lag-wise, et cetera, et cetera.

Again, I asked Mark a few times for the invite. I didn't need to ask Sergio about it. I know he's won here before. He obviously has great memories and speaks great things of this course.

But I had played here myself two years ago and I know how good of event it is so I mean -- once I got the invite it was an easy decision for me.

Q. You said you asked Mark a few times for an exemption. How many times? Did you call him --
RAFA CABRERA BELLO: No. I saw him at the Masters earlier this year and I told him, "Mark, there is a very good chance that I may need to bother you for an invite" and he said, "Okay, I'll keep that in mind."

Maybe a couple months ago I asked him, "Hey, I'm really going to commit if you still have the invite." He said, "Yes" and it was my pleasure to be here.

Q. Did you approach things any differently this year than did you two years ago when you were here or the way you attacked the course?
RAFA CABRERA BELLO: No, not really. I remember when we were here two years ago, the course was playing softer, a bit longer as well and I wasn't playing that good that year. Still playing good and trying to get in the Ryder Cup but trailing a bit rather than from a different position.

This year -- it's only the start of the tournament, really. Many things could happen tomorrow and the next couple of days. So, I'm just happy the way it's gone today, happy with the way my game has been all year-round and just looking forward to tomorrow. But after tomorrow, we'll see.

Q. Rafa, in terms of travel, when did you arrive on-site here and regarding the Ryder Cup, are you definitely going to play Denmark next week or get a good result this week lead you to take next week off?
RAFA CABRERA BELLO: I haven't decided exactly yet if I'm going to play next week or not. At the moment I'm with intention of going, especially if needed. If a great week came in this week then I would reconsider but I haven't decided yet.

Q. When did you get in?
RAFA CABRERA BELLO: Sorry. I got in Tuesday morning. Yeah, got in Tuesday morning around I don't know, you guys call it lunchtime, we call it late breakfast (laughter).

Q. So you left Rio Monday night?
RAFA CABRERA BELLO: I left Rio Monday night through Miami.

Q. While you were in Rio, did you get to do anything fun or do you have any special memories of that?
RAFA CABRERA BELLO: Well, I do have lots of great memories. I was lucky enough to be able to go and watch the other athletes compete as well. I went to the swimming, basketball, tennis, gymnastics, the track. It was -- I did lots of stuff. It was really cool.

I also -- I mean being in the gym, watching them train, how they prepare, it was very, very cool experience and I mean probably the pinnacle, the highlight for me for the best part for me was that opening ceremony, surrounded by the best athletes in my country all walking into stadium, like it can hold a hundred thousand people, and hearing the roar of the crowd, that was probably the best moment of the Olympics for me.

Q. This tournament has a long history, Seve won here, Sergio won here, you mentioned that.
Does that mean anything to you or is that kind a big deal to you being from Spain and everything?

RAFA CABRERA BELLO: Well, I mean it's obviously an honor for me if I have a chance to put my name on a trophy where Seve and Sergio are also part of it.

Last tournament I won, two Spaniards had just won before me so I was the 3rd one. If that record helps me get a little bit of luck and being in contention, then so be it. Great.

DOUG MILNE: Okay. Rafa, thanks for your time. Off to a great start.

RAFA CABRERA BELLO: Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297